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Saturday, 19 May 2012

Google, You Make Me Sad

Remember this takedown post?  It's only been a few weeks, but I would love to know the precise reason for the takedown.  I should have the right to know, and Google should send a copy of it to my e-mail address.  But guess what?  I'm not going to know any time soon, because Google won't send to me the notice. They will only send it to Chilling Effects, which is volunteer-run by a handful of people in their spare time and they have an enormous backlog that could take a year or more.  So I cannot challenge the takedown by filing a counter-claim. And this, as you might expect, suits Google (and by extension, Blogger) just fine.  It means they don't have to do any work; it means Google wants to make it hard for you to challenge the takedown. They just remove your post and too-bad-so-sad little blogger.

For my six or so Australian readers (hello there, Root of All Evil, how's your ego and your koi fish pond, dickhead?), you cannot view the original Bruce Guthrie - Epic Hater post.  And that is exactly the intent of the takedown. Censorship of material that someone didn't like, without any due process, legal justification or ability to challenge it in a timely manner. It's an abuse of process and Google doesn't give a fuck at all; it is merely protecting itself from legal harm whilst harming our free speech.  I suppose it's good it was only the Australian page that got blocked, which is a result of Google changing the URL structure of Blogger to redirect to country-specific URLs.  The rest of you can view the original post in all its glory.

So all I've got is speculation as to why it was taken down. I know I haven't defamed anyone -- I merely pointed out that Bruce Guthrie is selfish little shitbag who thinks he should have all the best seats everywhere in public because he doesn't smoke now, which is of course an opinion. I haven't libelled anyone -- I linked to the opinion piece for full context and I didn't exaggerate or invent any information. I did hyperlink and display an image from the American History Museum, a nice little pic of a KKK outfit, but the image remains up for those in the US, so I'm guessing -- but really don't know -- it is not a problem for the museum.  I only quoted a very small portion of Guthrie's opinion, which falls under fair use in nearly every country in the world. Perhaps a year from now, I will learn the reason for the takedown, if I even care by then. 

The point of this post isn't only to moan about Google, although they make me very sad.  It's to illustrate to you the techniques and the lengths that tobacco control advocates, these hateful motherfuckers from hell, will go to silence opinion on the opposing side. And isn't it curious that the colours of ASH Australia's logo are precisely the same as the KKK's logo?  Yes, perhaps ASH was ripping off Marlboro, and really it's all just a coincidence. ASH Australia are stupid hateful people, but even they would never support the KKK or any kind of end-date thinking, would they?  Nah, I think it very unlikely.  Eradicating tobacco use is not the same as eradicating smokers and hoping they all die soon.

So, I had a takedown. I'll not know why for some time to come.  It's frustrating, sure. On the bright side, we should count ourselves lucky that tobacco control is not (yet) rounding us up and marching us to concentration camps for our "evil ways."  It may come to pass, however, so be prepared. Trust no one.